Finding legal representation that you can rely on is an essential step when you decide to get a divorce. A divorce is a complicated and emotionally straining process, and an experienced Chicago divorce attorney can help guide you through proceedings more efficiently and with more certainty.

However, it’s important to find the right attorney. An inexperienced or ineffective attorney can make the process of divorce more drawn out or more expensive. When selecting an attorney, you want to review their past cases, look over reviews, and determine if they have the relevant experience for your divorce case.

It can also be helpful to schedule a consultation or first meeting with an attorney to begin a working relationship. This helps you get a feel for how they treat and respond to clients, allowing you to be sure that you feel comfortable trusting them with such a sensitive case.

This meeting is incredibly important for many reasons, so it is essential that you prepare accordingly for it. When you are prepared for these meetings, you will likely gain more information relevant to your case. Some important ways to prepare include:

Gather Essential Information

It’s important to be prepared for a consultation or meeting with a divorce attorney. A divorce requires a significant amount of information, so gather relevant documents prior to your meeting. You will get the most benefits from a meeting if you can provide more information that can help determine property division and support calculations.

You should bring important financial information for you and your spouse, if available, including income, taxes, assets, and expenses. This is information that you will need to provide during divorce discovery, so it can be doubly helpful to already have it ready. If you and your spouse have a pre- or postnuptial agreement, this is essential information for the process of divorce.

Basic legal information about you, your spouse, your children, and any children of prior marriages can also be helpful. Ensure that you know the date of your marriage and the date when you and your spouse were separated.

Bringing this information enables your attorney to get a strong understanding of your familial situation and financial circumstances. Although an attorney can never predict how a divorce will turn out, this information can allow them to provide you with likely scenarios for your divorce.

Determine What Questions You Have

It’s important to ask your divorce attorney questions during your first meeting, and writing down these questions can help you remember to ask them. Many people who get a divorce are dealing with the legal system for the first time, and your attorney understands that this can be complicated and overwhelming. Ask any questions you have.

These include questions about an attorney’s experience and qualifications, along with questions specific to your divorce case. If there are unique challenges with your divorce, such as business ownership, contentious custody issues, or complicated assets, be sure that your attorney knows how to navigate those cases. If there is anything that you are unclear on, ask for clarification.

Be Honest About Your Situation and Your Goals

Divorces can be resolved in many different ways, depending on your unique circumstances and goals. Your divorce could be contested or uncontested, and it might be resolved in court or through alternative dispute resolution.

By telling your attorney the truth about your priorities in divorce, such as privacy, costs, child custody, or other aspects, they can better advise you about the ideal approach. An attorney can also help you understand what is the most likely outcome of your divorce when trying to secure your goals.

Determine Attorney Costs

It’s essential to ask questions about your attorney’s fees. Most divorce cases are charged an hourly rate, often with an upfront retainer fee. You should have a complete understanding of your fees and discuss with your attorney a plan that works for you.


Q: How Do I Prepare for My First Meeting With a Divorce Lawyer?

A: When having a first meeting or even consultation with an attorney, there are several things you can do to prepare, including:

  1. Determine your primary goal and other goals for the process of divorce.
  2. Outline your wishes for spousal support, property division, child custody, and child support.
  3. Gather important financial and legal documentation for you, your spouse, and your children.
  4. Determine the date of marriage and the date of separation.
  5. Create a list of questions for your attorney, including those about their experience in family law, approach for a case like yours, and the costs you could expect.

Q: What Happens at a Divorce Hearing in Illinois?

A: In an uncontested divorce in Illinois, a divorce hearing will occur once the parties have created a separation agreement. The hearing consists of several questions and a review of the separation agreement to ensure that it is not unfair to either spouse. If the couple has children, their wishes for custody and support are considered, and these may be approved or altered by the court. The court will approve the final agreement and submit it into court order if everything seems beneficial and fair.

Q: How Do I Prepare for Divorce in Illinois?

A: If you are beginning the difficult process of obtaining a divorce, it is important to find a caring and dedicated attorney to protect your rights and help you resolve the divorce more quickly.

Additionally, it is also helpful to discuss the situation with your spouse. For many couples, a divorce is a necessary option that will benefit their family and relationship in the long term. Although not all divorces can be resolved amicably, it can be helpful to see if you and your spouse can work together to lessen the impact that divorce has on your lives and finances.

Q: Who Pays for a Divorce Lawyer in Illinois?

A: In most Illinois divorces, each spouse is responsible for the fees of their own divorce attorney. There are some cases where the court will order one spouse to pay the fees of the other, but this is uncommon, and it generally happens only when one spouse has significantly fewer financial resources than the other spouse.

The goal of the Illinois court is to avoid spouses being on unequal grounds. In some cases, the attorney fees for each spouse’s attorney come from their shared marital funds to ensure equal grounds.

Contact Stange Law Firm in Chicago

Any divorce is going to have complex issues, but an attorney is equipped to help you navigate your unique situation. Contact the compassionate attorneys at Stange Law Firm today to see how we can help support you in your divorce.